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The four-way debacle

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POSTED: September 22, 2010 12:18 p.m.
I was in greater downtown Brunswick the other day and came upon a newly installed four-way stop situation at the corner of 4th Street and Hampton — or as we call it “The Hospital Road.” The road you turn on when you have an appointment with one of the numerous medical professionals who have set up camp around the South East Georgia Regional Health Center. There is an “ologist” under every rock.
As all of my peeps know, I have been pale and pekid lately, and when you get pale and pekid, you must go see some “ologists.” I currently see a cardiologist, a neurologist, a urologist, a dermatologist, a pulmonologist, an enterologist and an oncologist. So after about one session of chemotherapy, all one wants to see is a good “mixologist.” That’s right, I said it.
The four-way signs had only been up for a few minutes when utter chaos and disruption ensued. Absolutely nobody in Glynn County seemed to have a clue as to what to do. Paraphrasing a John Prine lyric, “the yield went around, and around, and around till Pamela finally tried.” Just then, a man in a light blue sedan hit Pamela’s passenger side. Oh, it was awful.
I couldn’t help but chuckle. Who am I kidding? I laughed so hard that I thought I would wet my pants. It was “No you go,” “no you go,” “no you go.”
When I came back that way an hour later — after visiting Dr. Fatdigits,  the proctologist and nobody’s favorite at the hospital — a full-fledged traffic control point had been set up. Two of Glynn County’s finest deputies were acting as traffic controllers and a Brunswick policeman in a day-glo green vest and gloves was positioned about 75 yards down 4th Street to ensure things went smoothly. It was easy to see he was serious because at no time did his hand leave his Taser.
The whole situation brought me back in time to the first day of the Eulonia four-way. I sat at that intersection with my good buddy Alec and we bet quarters on how many people would run the signs on the Highway 17 side in 5 minutes. The average, after an hour, was about one stop-sign runner per minute. But in defense of McIntosh County’s good drivers, we got it down pat after about a month.
The Brunswick drivers never had a chance to perfect the maneuvers required to successfully negotiate such a hazardous setup. The po-po quelled the craziness before the situation had a chance to develop. Sheriff Bennett was obviously proud of his squad.
My old grandpappy told me about the time the first flushing toilet was brought to Brunswick. People came from  miles and lined up just to look at it. This was before television, when people clamored just to get a glimpse of something as revolutionary as this contraption. I just can’t imagine the first person to actually use it.
When the toll booth was finally decommissioned on the St. Simons Causeway, after years of quartering people to death, there were incidences of people stopping on the bridge and looking for places to stick their quarters. I didn’t see this happen, but I’m told that it did.You can look it up.
Now, I’m not one to point a finger at someone who’s deficient in driver etiquette, but I believe the rules of the four-way should be mandatory for anybody trying to get a license. Driver etiquette states that it’s OK to point the first, third or fourth finger at anybody who cuts you off or goes too slow when you’re trying to get to the Pig before the sale on fatback and collards ends. It’s never OK to point the second finger at any one except a landscape truck with no tail lights making a left turn onto “hospital road” at the four-way. If you point just the second finger, the landscaper automatically thinks you’re shooting a half of a peace sign and he wants to pull over and be your friend. This never goes well.
Just remember, when in doubt, let the landscape truck go first and don’t cock that second finger unless you really mean it.
 

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